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Abstract: As the number of defectors from North Korea arriving in
the South has surged in the past decade, there is a growing
understanding of how difficult it would be to absorb a
massive flow of refugees. South Korea is prosperous and
generous, with a committed government and civil society,
and yet refugees from the North almost all fail to integrate
or thrive. Part of this is the change in the people coming;
it is no longer just senior officials and fighter pilots who
were useful and privileged propaganda tools. Nowadays
many are women who have endured terrible deprivation
in the North and abuse on their way to the South. Reconfiguring
programs for defectors to take account of this
change is essential if new defectors are to find a place in
their new home.
The heart of the issue is humanitarian: those who arrive in
the South are often fleeing material deprivation and political
persecution and under South Korean law must be accepted
and helped. But as with all humanitarian issues, it
is complicated by politics. Defectors have been used by
both sides. The South once rewarded them with wealth
and public regard but that changed when rapprochement
with the North began in the late 1990s. Defectors became
something of an embarrassment, and policies to help them
did not keep up with the numbers and types of people
As the difficulties of absorbing North Koreans become
clear, the South is also wrestling with the possibility that
it one day might have to handle a vast outflow of refugees
from a collapsing North. The two sides of the Demilitarised
Zone have diverged so much in economics, politics,
language and social organisation that the people are now
strangers to each other. South Korean law and opinion
from some quarters would likely demand a rapid unification,
but economic and social realities suggest such a move
could be catastrophic. The difficulties of handling just over
20,000 refugees over a few decades should be a warning
to those who wish to encourage the collapse of the North
rather than a more gentle integration.
Abstract: This briefer provides up-to-date information on the Burma-China gas and oil pipelines. Through firsthand accounts, leaked documents, and publicly available information, EarthRights International analyzes corporate responsibility and accountability with respect to the pipelines, according to international laws and standards, and Burmese law. It discusses how to mitigate harmful impacts and improve the benefits for the people of Burma, and concludes with practical recommendations for key stakeholders.
Abstract: The following remarks are from a lecture given by Dr. Kongdan Oh at the 1st RINSA-Konrad Adenauer Foundation Internatio-nal Conference “European and Asian Perspectives on International Security Policies”, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the Research Institute for National Security Affairs (RINSA), Korea National Defense University (KNDU) , February 15, 2011 in Seoul, South Korea:
The two Koreas have suffered through a long history of military confrontation, and there is little reason to expect that relations will improve in the near future. Over the last few years both Koreas have strengthened their armed forces, and thanks to the 2010 North Korean attacks in the West Sea, this military buildup is likely to continue in the years ahead.
The motivation for North Korea to engage in active confrontation continues, and may even be increased, and the resources that could be employed in those confrontations are becoming more deadly.
The incompatibility of the political, economic, and social systems of the two Koreas is a continuing source of ill will. Military confrontation is an extension of political confrontation. Until the political system of North Korea changes, South Korea’s best hope for peace is to limit the North’s employment of its military forces in active engagements.
Abstract: Most studies of truth commissions assert their positive role in improving human rights. A
firstwave of researchmade these claims based on qualitative analysis of a single truth commission
or a small number of cases. Thirty years of experience with truth commissions and
dozens of examples allow cross-national statistical studies to assess these findings. Two
recent studies undertake that project. Their findings, which are summarized in this article,
challenge the prevailing view that truth commissions foster human rights, showing
instead that commissions, when used alone, tend to have a negative impact on human
rights. Truth commissions have a positive impact, however, when used in combination
with trials and amnesties. This article extends the question of whether truth commissions
improve human rights to how, when and why they succeed or fail in doing so. It presents a
‘justice balance’ explanation, whereby commissions, incapable of promoting stability and
accountability on their own, contribute to human rights improvements when they complement
and enhance amnesties and prosecutions. The article draws on experiences in
Brazil, Chile, Nepal, South Korea and South Africa to illustrate the central argument.
Abstract: Further provocations by North Korea as well as other dangerous military interactions on or around the Korean peninsula remain a serious risk and carry the danger of unintended escalation. Moreover, changes underway in North Korea could precipitate new tensions and herald a prolonged period of instability that raises the possibility of military intervention by outside powers. This Center for Preventive Action Contingency Planning Memorandum by Paul Stares analyzes potentially dangerous crises that could erupt in Korea due to the atmosphere of recrimination and mistrust that exists between North and South; the possibility of provocative, domestically driven North Korean behavior; and the potential for a troubled succession process in Pyongyang. Stares concludes that the United States has a strong and abiding interest in ensuring that another Korean war not be ignited and provides recommendations to reduce the risk of unwanted military escalation on the Korean peninsula.
Abstract: The deadly provocations by North Korea in the Yellow Sea in 2010 – the Ch’ŏnan sinking and the Yŏnp’yŏng Island shelling – drew condemnation and limited military responses by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan, but Beijing has been reluctant to go beyond counselling restraint to all parties. While declining to call Pyongyang to account, it criticised Washington for stepped-up military exercises with allies in North East Asia.
China’s influence in Pyongyang makes it crucial for international efforts to address North Korean provocations, and how it deals with clashes in the Yellow Sea is an important test of its willingness, capacity and credibility in handling regional conflict risks more generally. However, Beijing is undermining both its own and regional security by downplaying Pyongyang’s deadly behaviour in the Yellow Sea. Diplomatic shielding of the North, particularly at the UN, has damaged its international image and weakened its standing as an honest broker in the Six-Party Talks, while encouraging risky conventional and nuclear initiatives by North Korea. China’s behaviour has caused South Korea and Japan to strengthen bilateral coordination and their military alliances with the U.S. and consider expansion of their own missile defence systems, intensifying the risk of a regional arms race. China’s policy of supporting Pyongyang instead of holding it to account – ostensibly for the sake of stability – is heightening the risk of conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
Abstract: More than half a century has elapsed since the division of the Korean nation
that had lived on one and the same territory as a homogeneous nation
throughout its time-honored history of several thousands of years. From the
early days of national division, the government of the Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea (DPRK) has given priority to efforts aimed at achieving
national reunification, advanced most reasonable and realistic policies and
proposals for national reunification at every stage of its development, and
has made every possible effort to bring them into effect. It is true that inter-Korean relations move in a repeated cycle of reconciliation,
improvement, confrontation and exacerbation. However, it is only
a matter of time before north and south Korea will move towards the goal
of reunification. The era moving towards reunification that has lasted for the past ten
years since the announcement of the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration
in 2000 has been an era of exaltation that has instilled renewed hope
of reunification into the hearts of the entire Korean nation.No one can deny that the question of Korean reunification is an internal
matter and should be addressed by the Korean nation itself. However, as
we look back upon the essence of Korean issues, the historical background
of Korea’s division and the underlying elements of its reunification, we find
that the issue of reunification is also a major security issue for the region,
directly linked to the more comprehensive issue of peace on the Korean
Peninsula. Accordingly, the issue of Korean reunification deserves greater
attention so that peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula can be secured;
the focal point in ensuring global peace and security at the present time.
Abstract: The Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group(JIG) conducted its investigation
with 25 experts from 10 top Korean expert agencies, 22 military experts, 3
experts recommended by the National Assembly, and 24 foreign experts
constituting 4 support teams from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom
and the Kingdom of Sweden. The JIG is composed of four teams--Scientific
Investigation Team, Explosive Analysis Team, Ship Structure Management Team,
and Intelligence Analysis Team. In our statement today, we will provide the results attained by Korean and
foreign experts through an investigation and validation process undertaken with a
scientific and objective approach. The report states, "Based on all such relevant facts and classified analysis, we have reached the clear conclusion that ROKS "Cheonan" was sunk as the result of an external underwater explosion caused by a torpedo made in North Korea. The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine. There is no other plausible explanation."
Abstract: In July 2009, the UN General Assembly held an Interactive Informal Dialogue and plenary session on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The dialogue provided the first opportunity for the UN membership as a whole to discuss implementation of the 2005 World Summit’s commitment to the RtoP and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the matter. Fifteen governments from the Asia-Pacific region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, DPRK, PNG and Malaysia, participated in the dialogue. This culminated in a resolution co-sponsored by, inter alia, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and New Zealand that noted the Secretary-General’s report, observed the fruitfulness of the interactive dialogue, and committed the Assembly to further consideration of the RtoP.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the dialogue was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation (with the exception of North Korea).
Abstract: The term “peace regime” officially made its Six-Party Talks debut in the September 2005 Joint Statement from the fourth round of those negotiations, as the participating nations emphasized their commitment to build a lasting peace in Northeast Asia by pledging to initiate a separate negotiation for a “permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” at an appropriate time.1 Although the Six-Party Talks are primarily focused on denuclearizing North Korea
(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK), the mention of a separate peace regime dialogue by “the directly
related parties” acknowledged the many unresolved political, diplomatic, and national security issues in Korea that contribute to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. After all, North and South Korea (Republic of Korea, or ROK) are still technically at war with one another, and the armistice agreement that has governed the cease-fire for over fifty-five years was never intended as a long-term solution to the Korean War. The Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA), working
with partners in South Korea, the United States, and China is in the middle of a three-year project exploring peace regime building on the Korean Peninsula in ways that support and facilitate the denuclearization objectives
of the Six-Party Talks. Our aim is to combine research
and dialogue in a mixed academic/policy (Track 1.5) environment among the “directly related parties” to explore the linkages mentioned above, and to develop a broader consensus regarding the potential synergies between
armistice management, peace regime building, and denuclearization.
Abstract: In October, both houses of Congress unanimously passed and President George W. Bush signed the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004. This act promotes improving human rights in North Korea as an integral part of broader U.S. policy on the Korean peninsula, and it also calls for protecting North Korean defectors as refugees. Surprisingly, the most vocal criticism has come not from North Korea, but from South Korea. Some members of South Korea's ruling Uri Party were indignant, claiming that the new law would increase tensions on the Korean peninsula and damage relations between South Korea and North Korea. Such sentiments, regrettably prevalent in South Korea, indicate how much some people have misunderstood the act and its purpose. The act is intended to make it easier for the United States to assist North Korean refugees, and it links any future aid to Pyongyang to progress in addressing human rights concerns. The act contains no hidden agenda for overt regime change or overthrow of the Kim Jong Il government. Its sole focus is on alleviating the plight of North Koreans through limited action by the U.S. government.
Abstract: Enigmatic as ever, North Korea sparks interest like no other country. If not the official release of new footage of Kim Jong-Il, rumoured to have succumbed to a heart attack, the world's media report on the latest twist in the ongoing nuclear crisis. Distracted by incidents, the wider background to the nuclear crisis is often overlooked. For more than five years, six countries - North Korea, South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia - have been working towards a negotiated solution. The so-called Six-Party Talks seek a settlement by addressing the global, regional and national concerns of all of the countries involved. In doing so, they effectively function as an informal multilateral framework and ongoing security dialogue. Unimpressed with an exclusively North Korea-focused narrative, this study edited by Koen De Ceuster and Jan Melissen offers a broader perspective.
It enhances insight into the conditions and factors that contribute to success or failure of this diplomatic process, and argues that the Six-Party Talks have the potential to become a permanent security mechanism for North-East Asia.
Abstract: The West's tepid response to Russia's recent invasion of Georgia sends a dangerous message to Asian democracies who have long depended upon support from the United States to protect them from regional menaces. Lack of pronounced U.S. support for its Georgian ally may lead China and other autocratic powers in Asia to infer that the American defense of global liberalization is mere rhetoric. When autocracy sneezes, Asia catches cold. Russia's naked power grab in the Caucasus will have global repercussions, nowhere more so than in Asia. While Europe now contemplates a return to long-term tension on Russia's southwestern borders, Moscow's act of war will have lasting effects far from the Black Sea, namely the threat to democratic trends in Asia, and the bolstering of China's global position.
The struggle for freedom in Asia has changed millions of lives, and yet is an unfinished battle. Asia's young democracies, from Mongolia to Taiwan, are no doubt chilled by Georgia's plight. The naked use of force against a sovereign, democratic state by a gargantuan rival sends a message hard to miss. Whatever the pretext, be it natural resources, separatist movements, or old territorial disputes, the reassertion of might over right threatens the political gains of the past decades that have helped Asia become the most vibrant region on earth. Anti-liberal forces at home in these smaller nations will take comfort from the reversion to a machtpolitik world, while other national elites may well be willing to compromise their freedoms to maintain their economic privileges.
Abstract: A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In no country does a majority agree on another possible perpetrator, but in most countries significant minorities cite the US government itself and, in a few countries, Israel. These responses were given spontaneously to an open-ended question that did not offer response options. On average, 46 percent say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks while 15 percent say the US government, seven percent Israel, and seven percent some other perpetrator. One in four say they do not know. WPO_911_Sep08_graph.jpgGiven the extraordinary impact the 9/11 attacks have had on world affairs, it is remarkable that seven years later there is no international consensus about who was behind them," comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org.
Abstract: U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size.
Abstract: This paper quantifies the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth in Asia for 1970–2004. Our panel estimations show that transnational terrorist attacks had a significant growth-limiting effect. Transnational terrorism reduces growth by crowding in government expenditures. An internal conflict has the greatest growth concern, about twice that of transnational terrorism. For developing Asian countries, intrastate and interstate wars have a much greater impact than terrorism does on the crowding-in of government spending.
Policy recommendations indicate the need for rich Asian countries to assist their poorer neighbors in coping with the negative growth consequences of political violence. Failure to assist may result in region-wide repercussions. Conflict and terrorism in one country can create production bottlenecks with region-wide economic consequences. International and nongovernmental organizations as well as developed Western countries and regions could assist at-risk Asian countries with attack prevention and post-attack recovery.
This study has six purposes. First, and foremost, we present panel estimates for a sample of 42 Asian countries to quantify the impact of terrorism and conflicts on income per capita growth for 1970–2004. Panel estimation methods control for country-specific and timespecific unobserved heterogeneity. Second, we distinguish the influence of terrorism on economic growth from that of internal and external conflicts. Third, these influences are investigated for cohorts of developed and developing countries to ascertain whether development can better allow a country to absorb the impact of political violence. Fourth, econometric estimations relate violence-induced growth reductions to two pathways— reduced investment and increased government expenditures. Fifth, a host of diagnostic and sensitivity tests to support our empirical specifications. Last, we draw some policy conclusions.
Abstract: Alors que le quotidien du mois de juin demeure terriblement ténu en d’autres
régions d’Asie, l’Extrême-Orient semble ces temps-ci se complaire sur le
devant de l’actualité asiatique : tantôt pour en tirer quelque honneur (Chine -
Taïwan), susciter de l’espoir (Corée du nord—USA), tantôt pour révéler mécontentement
et désillusion (Corée du sud ; Japon).
Abstract: Edition 2008. Réunis le temps d’un week-end (30 mai– 1er juin) dans le
confort du Shangri-La Hotel de Singapour — un cadre propice à l’étude des
grands enjeux contemporains de sécurité en Asie…—, les représentants des
27 délégations officielles ont honoré de leur présence et enrichi de leurs réflexions
ce 7eme rendez-vous annuel, plus connu sous le vocable informel de
Shangri-La Dialogue. Un forum annuel unique en son genre en Asie, organisé
par le prestigieux International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) londonien,
lequel célébrait au passage son demi-siècle d’existence de fort belle manière.
Evénement sur lequel les médias occidentaux s’arrêtent de coutume fort peu,
ce « sommet » aux atours moins protocolaires concentre deux jours durant
une somme inédite de décideurs politiques (ministres ; parlementaires) et
militaires (officiers d’état-major), d’experts (institutions internationales ; fonctionnaires
; chercheurs), d’hommes d’affaires et de journalistes autour d’une
pléiade de séances plénières, de tables rondes et de débats publics (et de
réunions plus restreintes...). La diversité et le sérieux des thèmes abordés
(voir p.2), la qualité des intervenants et des échanges, les inévitables
« déclarations » collatérales et autres réactions « à chaud », justifient qu’on
lui consacre ci-après quelque attention.
Abstract: Towards the end of 1997, amidst the seemingly momentous changes occurring on the Korean peninsula, the Nautilus Institute published an essay by then Director of the Asia Institute at Monash University, Professor John McKay, and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) official, Tim Dunk. The essay, entitled "The role of medium sized powers in the normalization process on the Korean peninsula: An Australian perspective", convincingly argued that in the aftermath of the Cold War, a new opportunity had emerged for middle powers, such as Australia, to contribute to normalization on the Korean peninsula. However, a little over a decade later, after a period of substantially heightened security concerns on the peninsula as a result of the nuclear issue, middle powers largely remain either marginalized or, in the case of Australia, dutifully positioned in support of major power policies. This seems to support the realist hypothesis that middle powers are followers during periods of heightened security tension.
Abstract: Pour bon nombre d’observateurs, l’histoire moderne de la Corée renvoie à une réalité politique tragique marquée par de fréquentes incursions chinoises, la brutale colonisation japonaise à partir de 1910 puis la partition du pays en 1953, au terme d’une guerre fratricide et meurtrière de trois ans. La mémoire nationale coréenne s’est ainsi construite dans la violence, l’humiliation et un pessimisme stratégique qui va conduire la Corée du Sud à s’en remettre à la garantie de sécurité américaine et la Corée du Nord au développement d’une rhétorique belliqueuse et au nationalisme nucléaire. L’une comme l’autre, prisonnière de la logique de la guerre froide et du système d’alliance qui en découle, où l’axe Pyongyang-Pékin-Moscou s’oppose à l’axe Séoul-Washington-Tokyo, manifestent le même sentiment d’insécurité et le même instinct de survie. Séoul, à moins d’une soixantaine de kilomètres de la zone démilitarisée (Demilitarized Zone), qui marque la séparation de la péninsule, a la conscience aiguë d’être à portée de l’artillerie lourde nord-coréenne. De son côté, le régime de Pyongyang, persuadée que les États-Unis veulent sa perte, entretient sa population dans une mentalité de citadelle assiégée.
Abstract: With hardly anyone taking notice, the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program have morphed into the world's most important negotiation on regional security architecture since the end of the Cold War. Potentially, it could rank in importance with the 1990 Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany and the creation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Abstract: Through a feminist analysis of the South Korean and Japanese governments' responses to the 1990-2006 redress movement for the 1930-1945 Imperial Japanese WWII military's 'comfort women' prostitution system, this paper examines a number of very pertinent issues. It considers the ways in which perceptions of prostitution have become a part of nationalist discourses and examines how policies related to women's sexuality, including prostitution and rape, become non-issues in wartime. Through a study of the various parties that have governed in both countries during this sixteen year period, this paper comparatively analyzes the South Korean and Japanese governments' denial of this period of military sexual slavery. It argues that the Japanese government's and South Korean government's respective manipulation of the 1990-2006 'comfort women' redress movement is predicated on nationalistic imperatives, no longer related to physical geographical sovereignty, but to ideological sovereignty.
Abstract: The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to push for a full peace deal formally ending the Korean War, and introduce regular cross-border freight train services to boost economic cooperation.